“Wow! What a beautiful day! This is great!” “I had no idea your church did this much!” “Where can we put these food donations?” “Can I sign up for CROP?” “How can I get involved with that project?”“Ew-w-w! That’s a BIG bug!” “I like the puppies best!” And on and on!!!
These were the reactions of our community visitors on a beautiful, sunny day Saturday, Sept. 7 as St. Matthew’s hosted our annual Community Fest. Once again, our ministries had a variety of activities to engage all ages in our outreach effort. Did you color our world with the areas St. Matthew’s has missions? Did you leave footprints with Membership? And how about those biblical quizzes at both the Communications and Youth booth? And for those very young, there were tattoos, bubble and spinner art. One of the great hits of any festival is the midway and this year’s festival had a great one! For the little ones, there was the moon bounce…a great hit! For the older members, there was miniature golf sponsored by the UMM, games, including Crazy Basketball and Frisbee Challenge that were manned by the youth. Our youth also encouraged participation in the Bungee race and the ever-popular dunk booth. Even Rev. Ginger succumbed to peer pressure and sat at the edge of the seat of the booth while trying hard to hope for divine intervention so she would not get dunked! God had other plans!
The goal of this year’s festival was again community outreach. The committee invited members of the community to join our church groups and be involved in meeting our constituents. BGE brought energy saving devices and signed up those who chose to undergo an energy audit. The Bowie Volunteer Fire Department opened their trucks to the youngest of us and gave them fire hats to wear as they sat within the truck. Echoes of Nature brought a variety of animals to their booth for all to see, touch, and experience! Healthy Groove was here with centers to give ideas on healthy living. Guiding Eyes for the Blind read a book about being a guiding eyes puppy. And for families, Collington Mason’s brought CHIP and Rite Aid gave flu shots. And both Rita’s Ice and Texas Roadhouse treated us to goodies (to say nothing about that great SMUMC Grill!)
Of course, for many the highlight of the festival was the talent on display on our stage! The EEC choir, under the direction of Christin Vare was adorable. And the St. Matthew’s Brass group was outstanding. Kenny Anderson was phenomenal and our Chancel Choir sounded balanced and confident!
But the most important aspect of the entire event was the sheer joy that emanated from all the volunteers of our church community who were welcoming, smiling, and sharing of the light of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
What’s that you say? You missed it? Indeed, YOU MISSED IT! But there is always next year! We’ll look for you then!